Visiting A Neighborhood Site

In their quest for neighborhood know-how, youngsters turn to a local senior center where residents become prime sources about life in the old days. Sharing research collected thus far, students build up their own information bank with more stories and photos while seniors enjoy their new roles as community experts.

For more about Special #2 from Discovering the Richness of Roxbury~Neighbohood Know-How, e-mail Alma Wright, author and AT&T Teacher Disseminator
Learning Standards
  • Connect reading with their experiences and the experiences of others.
  • Engage in effective discussions.
  • Employ various formats and use technology to enhance work.
  • Classroom Activities
    Before walking to the senior center, the class discusses how older folks convey history. Preparing for the visit, students:
  • Create a map from the school to the center.
  • Go over seniors' names with a list provided by the center.
  • Compile photos of landmarks and articles for memory refreshers.
  • Practice using tape and audio recorder.
  • Brainstorm questions that will help seniors recall neighborhood details.
  • Divide into student pairs and agree on photos and stories to share with the seniors.
  • At the center, conduct introductions and describe project.

    • Explain how the audio recorder works and ask permission to tape record and photograph.
    • Take turns talking about the neighborhood and encourage seniors to share memories.
    • Record conversations and assure seniors of their importance to the project.
    • Schedule a follow-up talk. Encourage seniors to bring their own photos, letters, and memorabilia next time.
    • Back in class, transcribe notes and compile them in a Then and Now Chart.
    • Continue the dialogue through letters and routine visits.
    • Write Directions: How to Tape Interviews.
    Community Activities
    Encouraging seniors to relive their past gives them a sense of worth and students a sense of history. Students display their Then and Now Chart at the Center and credit seniors as their respected sources.
    As students prepare to tape conversations, they are reminded of public speaking skills that lead to a variety of careers including: media, theater, and public service.
    Maps, photos and articles about neighborhood, tapes, audio recorder, Polaroid cameras. film, chart paper
    Students use overhead projector and Neighborhood Map Machine for maps; word process Directions with Print Shop.
    Teacher and students evaluate tapes and photos. Then and Now Chart and How to Tape Interviews are marked for accuracy, sequence, and clarity.

    Web Sites
    Students learn about Seniors and their accomplishments at: AARP site